Republicanism in the Bahamas is a political movement for the replacement of the monarchy of the Bahamas and a monarch as head of state with a president. The idea has been floated since at least 2002, with renewed discussions since Barbados' became a republic in 2021. Calls for the Bahamas to become a republic have also been made following the death of Elizabeth II. There were protests during the visit of Prince William and his wife, Catherine, calling for an elected head of state.


The Bahamas was colonised by the British and gained independence from Britain in July 1973.[1][2] The Bahamas is a constitutional, parliamentary democracy and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II was the Head of State represented in The Bahamas an appointed Governor General and the government was led by the prime minister.[3][4]

It is reported that Barbados becoming a republic in 2021 encouraged republican movements elsewhere in the Caribbean, including the Bahamas.[5] Arley Gill, Grenada’s ambassador to the Caribbean Community suggested in 2022 that a momentum for republicanism had developed across the Caribbean.[1]



In 2002, the government of the Bahamas appointed a Constitutional Review Commission, which asked for public opinion, including keeping the Bahamian monarch as head of state. Its preliminary report concluded there were "mixed feelings" on the matter[6] and “the abolition of the English monarch [sic] as head of state of the Bahamas is part of the evolutionary process toward a true peoples' government [sic]”.[7] A commission in 2012 recommended maintaining the status quo, but, postulated that a republic would be the "inevitable terminus of constitutional evolution".[7] The following year, a commission recommended the government begin a process of public education to prepare citizens for a republican form of government in the future. No government has yet followed that advice.[8]

Discussion and proposals

In January 2020, Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said that the Bahamas should have a discussion on becoming a republic.[7][9]

In September 2020, former Attorney General Sean McWeeney, Q.C. said that the Bahamas becoming a republic is an inevitable part of the political evolution of the country and would likely need to be driven by the Bahamian government.[10]

In December 2021, the Office of the Prime Minister Press Secretary Clint Watson said that a transition to republic was not currently on the agenda of the Davis administration.[11] In the same month the former Director of Culture Dr. Nicolette Bethel suggested that a federal republic would be the best system of government for the Bahamas.[12] Also in December 2021, Sarah Dickson, British high commissioner to the Bahamas said that the future of the head of state of the Bahamas was up to the Bahamian people and that the UK and the Royal Family would continue to be friends of the country, working closely on a variety of matters, regardless.[13]

In March 2022, Renward Wells suggested that the Bahamas was ready to become a republic with former Progressive Liberal Party (MP) Leslie Miller suggesting it would not happen in his lifetime.[14] On a royal tour to the region, Prince William said that the royal family would "support with pride and respect your decisions about your future".[15][16]

In September 2022, following the death of Elizabeth II, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis said that he requires the support of the public of the Bahamas before proceeding with the process, “The only challenge with us moving to a republic is that I can’t, as much as I would wish to do it, I cannot do it without your consent". He added, "I will have a referendum and the Bahamian people will have to say to me, 'yes'."[17][18]


The Coalition of Independents has suggested the Bahamas use a similar model to the United States of America; though, the organization believes becoming a republic will mean independence for the Bahamas,[19] which the country attained in 1973.[20]


A Lord Ashcroft poll conducted in 2023 found that 51 percent of respondents preferred becoming a republic, with 27 percent favouring continuance of the monarchy and 22 per cent undecided or unwilling to choose.[21][22]

See also


  1. ^ a b Yang, Mary (2022-04-28). "Why Do Caribbean Countries Want to Leave the Monarchy Now?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2023-05-25.
  2. ^ "Bahamas PM signals referendum to remove Charles III as head of state". The Independent. 2022-09-15. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  3. ^ Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Refworld | U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1993 - Bahamas". Refworld. Retrieved 2023-10-18.
  4. ^ "Background Notes: The Bahamas". Retrieved 2023-10-18.
  5. ^ "King's coronation draws apathy, criticism among former colonies in Commonwealth". PBS NewsHour. 2023-05-05. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  6. ^ "The Queen - and the Future of the Bahamian Monarchy". Bahama Pundit. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  7. ^ a b c "Lloyd: The Bahamas should have discussions about moving to a republic". EyeWitness News. 9 January 2020.
  8. ^ Dames, Candia (2023-05-08). "A new monarch for a sovereign state - The Nassau Guardian". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  9. ^ Ward, Jasper (2020-01-08). "Lloyd: Should The Bahamas become a republic? - The Nassau Guardian". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  10. ^ "Former AG: Bahamas shift to republic is inevitable". Eye Witness News. 2020-09-17. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  11. ^ Ward, Jasper (2021-12-10). "Transition to a republic not on govt agenda, press secretary says - The Nassau Guardian". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  12. ^ Scott, Rachel (2021-12-01). "Bethel: Bahamas will inevitably move toward a republic - The Nassau Guardian". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  13. ^ Guardian, The Nassau (2021-12-08). "Republic or realm - The Nassau Guardian". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  14. ^ "IS IT TIME?: Royal visit rekindles debate over The Bahamas' shift to a republic". Eye Witness News. 2022-03-28. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  15. ^ "King's coronation draws apathy, criticism in former colonies". AP NEWS. 2023-05-05. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  16. ^ "Caribbean tour: Prince William says future is for the people to decide". BBC News. 2022-03-27. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  17. ^ Ward, Jasper (2022-09-12). "Davis willing to put republic move to referendum - The Nassau Guardian". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  18. ^ Guardian, The Nassau (2022-09-09). "Davis said referendum for transition to a republic on the table - The Nassau Guardian". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  19. ^ "Good Governance". THE INDEPENDENTS. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  20. ^ "Bahamas country profile". BBC News. 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2023-10-18.
  21. ^ "Uncharted Realms: The Future of the Monarchy in the UK and Around the World - Lord Ashcroft Polls". Retrieved 2023-05-04.